News items from Community

Captive portal options

火, 2008-08-26 05:47
I work for a 3 branch library system.

We are trying to figure out a captive portal system so our wireless users have to accept our policy page before they get internet.

At one of our branches I have setup ZoneCD ( All internal computers are wired and use static IPs (no server or hardware firewall is installed at that location). The only wireless router is the one hooked up to the ZoneCD computer.

Our main branch has both a hardware firewall and a Windows Server 2003 machine. The server 2003 box, among other duties, handles our DHCP. Most of the internal computers are wireless (public and staff computers). The public computers have PCReservation installed on them so the patrons have to accept the policy page. All the computers are on the same subnet (about 50 in all, most of which use static IPs so PCRes works correctly). I can't seem to get ZoneCD to work behind the firewall even though I have disabled the server 2003 DHCP. This branch has 5 access points that handle all the wireless traffic. The server 2003 box doesn't have any groups or group policies defined. Is there a way to make the server 2003 machine a captive portal so any patron who brings in a wireless device has to accept our policy page? And is it possible that this would only happen for a certain IP range (so our internal computers wouldn't have to have any changes done)? Or is there another solution I am overlooking? ...preferably free :D

Our third branch just has a hardware firewall and 2 access points so I should be able to set up ZoneCD to work there once I figure out why the firewall is hindering ZoneCD's operation.

In the long run I need a solution that can be applied to all branches so the setup is relatively uniform so any person coming in after I am gone can manage it. I have a basic 2 year degree in networking and can do a lot, but need some help thinking through this process a bit better. We have no long term budget to pay a service to setup and maintian a hotspot (at least $50 per month from what I have seen). Any suggestions or trains of thought will be appreciated. Also if anyone knows how to make the server 2003 box a captive portal for a certain IP range I will really appreciate the sharing of that knowledge.

What photo manipulation tools have you tried?

水, 2008-08-20 02:15
What's your favorite photo manipulation program to use? Do you prefer online solutions like Picassa or do you prefer software like Adobe? Share your thoughts on the best tools out there.

Wavemaker for easy web development

火, 2008-08-19 07:20
I just heard about the release of Wavemaker 4.0, an open source web development platform for AJAX applications. Wavemaker makes the claim that this is an easy way to create an AJAX application in just 9 steps. This post demonstrates how.

Anyone using Wavemaker? Is it as easy as the claims? And how easy is easy (i.e. what tech knowledge do you need before you start to use it?)



Need online donations and event registrations automatically entered into donor database?

金, 2008-08-15 01:04
Hi, we need a service that will 1) take care of our online donations and transfer the donor information into our database and 2) create 4 online event pages per year and transfer registration data automatically into our database. We are a small nonprofit and have been looking at eTapestry because they offer exactly what I am talking about. However, they also charge you a perpetual and rising cost for using their database. I would prefer to use a database like BasicFunder ( which is a one time cost of $250. Then I would pay to have the service described above integrated with BasicFunder or whatever database I choose. Is it worth doing this, or should we just pay for eTapestry?

Dragon Speak 10 and Outlook 2007

水, 2008-08-13 19:42
I'd like to not have to buy the professional version of Dragon Speak. I see the Preferred version works with Outlook Express but you need the Prof Version for the full version of Outlook. Has anyone tried using the Preferred Version with the full version of Outlook?

How do you process credit card transactions?

火, 2008-08-05 23:22
TechSoup has a new article being added to the Learning Center today on A Few Good Methods for Processing Credit Cards. What are the best methods your organization uses for both online and offline processing? Any tips for getting the best deal?

Putting windows Vista on a Network

月, 2008-08-04 21:53
Is there or how easy it putting a Vista pc on a Windows 2000 server network. I have some shared documents on the server....all other PCs can connect or is mapped to that shared file.

All other PCs are Windows 2000/XP
The Vista is a home Version don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Vista is new to me too

The Future Standard of Accessibility

水, 2008-07-30 23:14
Most non-profits are aware of Section 508 of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) which outlines the minimum “standards” that must be met in a web pages code to be considered accessible, and who the law applies to.

Outside of Section 508, there is a section of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium that releases the web specifications and guidelines) called the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) that “works with organizations around the world to develop strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. “ In May 1999 the WAI has created an HTML presentation introducing Accessibility and created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0) that explain in detail how to make web content accessible and list 3 levels of recommended standards that web developers in the know have been meeting for several years.

As the years went by and the WCAG 1.0 became a standard, and as in any standard issues arose while the internet and code progressed. The WAI was a bit slow on releasing an update to the WCAG1.0, so in frustration, a group got together in 2006 and wrote corrections/additions to the WCAG and released WCAG Samurai Errata in February 2008. Many developers (like me) and content managers have been using this as their current standard. This does not supplant the WCAG1.0, but enhances/bug fixes it.

On April 30th 2008, the WAI released its draft (candidate recommendation) of the WCAG 2.0. The draft was opened to scrutiny, comment, suggestion by the public (web designers, developers, etc.) until June 30th 2008. There’s lots of documentation available including: a great “Quick Tips” - a great list of things you should do, and a Customizable Quick Reference that you can set to what level of compliance you want your sites to meet with linked explanations

Sometime in the near future WCAG 2.0 will be the standard, and sometime in the not-too-distant future Section 508 will be updated to reflect (Currently Level I of the WCAG 1.0 is basically 508) the new standard, and non-profits will be required to meet them. Even if you don’t fall in the loop of those who are “forced” to be accessible by law, it’s still the right thing to do since it takes very little effort to meet initially in development and a not-too-big effort to retrofit an existing site.

If you are interested in reviewing your site for accessibility or finding out more information, don't hesitate to contact me for more information or assistance.

Have you bought refurbished computers?

水, 2008-07-30 01:53
There's a new TechSoup article going up in a bit on how to buy refurbished computers. Have you bought refurbished for your org before? Any advice to offer others?

Update: Here's a link back to the new TechSoup article on the topic.

Backup Exec Exchange Agent

金, 2008-07-25 21:04

Does Tech soup have avalible the agents for Backup Exec. such as Exchange agent

Offsite Data Back-up

水, 2008-07-23 21:19
We are a small non-profit that is moving to a central server this fall. We are looking for an affordable off-site service to back-up/store our data. We will be using MS Windows Server 2003 and XP Pro along with MS Office 2003 with a DSL connection.

Does anyone have any suggestion to a good, reliable back-up service that I could contact? Thanks

How standardized is your office?

火, 2008-07-08 08:26
When it comes to purchasing equipment and software, how standardized is your office? Do you make all decisions centrally, or are people allowed to make their own choices about what types of hardware and software to use?

eopen media for XP pro (post moved)

火, 2008-07-08 00:14
This question has been moved to the software forum for assistance.

This topic has been moved to:

Creating Nonprofit Facebook Page

土, 2008-07-05 19:05
Tech Soup blog has a message for those of you at organization's grappling with a jump into social networking sites like Facebook. Our pals over at the Wild Apricot blog have some helpful primers on how to maximize your presence. Does seeing other nonprofits on facebook make you want to create a page of your own? Who has a really good Facebook page?

Telecommuting Policies

火, 2008-06-24 01:49
I am in the process of re-writing my telecommuting policies to close some "loopholes", define our requirements and support, and give supervisors more latitude in applying it.

I was wondering if any of you would be willing to share your policies on this subject - either here on these boards, via email, or otherwise.

I'd also be interested in any pointers and advice in general.

My email address is if you would be willing to share your policy with me offsite.

Suggestions for T1 Router for VOIP traffic.

土, 2008-06-21 05:31
I'm considering putting VOIP cards in my PBX at two sites and creating a virtual TIE line between the units. This will be carrying 8-16 VOIP channels plus upgrade my WAN speed from 256k to a full T1.

Any suggestions for a Router with integrated T1 DSU/CSU and quality of service ability for my voice traffic.

We may not have the time or qualify for the donated Cisco, and I don't want to overkill for this point to point solution.


Online Meetings (Webex, Live Meeting, etc.)

月, 2008-06-02 23:08
My organization is looking at possibly purchasing a service such as Webex, Microsoft Live Meeting or GoToWebinar/GoToMeeting. They currently use Webex for some webinars that are setup by a partner organization and like it. However, it is quite expensive ($18K for an unlimited plan). Does anyone out there use Live Meeting or GoToWebinar or another service and if so, what do you think? We would mainly use it for sharing and presenting PPT and Word files and the occassional website.


Veterans' Organization need help

水, 2008-05-21 08:59
Under IRS Section 1986 Code, Section 501 our organization is not a Section 501 (c)(3), but Section 501 (c)(19), therefore we do not qualify for the great discounts provided by TechSoup. We promote community welfare, assist diabled & hospitalized veterans, conduct charitable, educational, scholarship, etc. programs. I would like to know if anyone know where we can turn to get QuickBooks Premier and some of the other benefits that are offered here. Please contact me directly at or through this Discussions group. Thank you, Karen C Aker, Unit 52 Sierra Vista, AZ

Remote Desktop Software

金, 2008-05-16 05:04
I am interested in opinions regarding remote desktop software. My office uses Citrix. We all connect to a server and get a remote desktop. The system works well for us.

We have a remote office that is going to be an independent agency and they will be setting up their own office network instead of using ours.

They often work remotely and would like to be able to get their desktop and files when they are in the field. Citrix comes to mind but it is very expensive. I received an email today from Tech Soup about pcAnywhere.

Do you know how Citrix and pcAnywhere compare? What other products or methods should I consider?

By the way, they have DSL at their location where the server will be.